Final pass at Relativity script and a move to celtx script editor…

Posted by Rick Burnett on September 23rd, 2009 filed in Relativity

After working on loglines, taglines and synopsis for the film, I’ve gone back through and cleaned up the script with all the changes to shape the story into a cohesive idea and to incorporate all the great ideas I received at the first reading of the script.

When I started writing screenplays, I used scrivener, which is an amazing tool I have used when writing my second novel (and my started third and forth).  But to be completely honest, it lacked a lot of the automation I’ve used in Final Draft that I really enjoyed.  The problem I had with Final Draft is I felt it was overpriced for what it did, the key commands were not always the best, and I felt like I had to fight with it.  The last thing you want to do is fight with your editing software as you want this to be as transparent as possible.

In talking with Lee Brian, a North Carolina resident who is following her dreams in the film world, she introduced me to a, can you believe this, free application called celtx for doing screenplays.  Like every other person who has written about celtx, I was certainly hesitant at first.  While free things are generally cool, for what I consider a production environment, they can be a nightmare since they generally have little or volunteer support.

That said, I was absolutely amazed.  I took a PDF of my script and copied out the text and pasted it into celtx.  While it didn’t pick up all the formating that Final Draft had put into my document, it was VERY easy to fix as I went through.  I really like their use of the tab key in setting text types.  Most people say as an editor, Final Draft is still ahead of celtx in many respects.  I’m not sure what those limitations are as I never felt like was working overly hard to write the script.  Maybe I’ve just not reached that level of a power user yet.

Where celtx will begin to shine for me is with production schedules, casting, prop lists, storyboarding, etc.  The next step in my journey is to go through the tutorials so I can understand the paradigm that the developers followed in creating celtx.  Many professionals use celtx, and through their message boards I see that there is a lot of support and help both through forums and their wiki.  Given the size of this project, this is a perfect project for testing something like this as we will be doing compositing, 3D rendering, effects generation, and all sorts of stuff above and beyond that.

Now I need to get my camera ready to be used, and test, test, test it.  The only thing I can say is I actually wish we had a Red One, or that the Red Scarlet’s were out, but that unfortunately is beyond our budget for this piece.  We’ll work on that for the next one.  Of course, who am I trying to kid.  We’ve got the right tools, it’s just sometimes it takes longer with things that aren’t specifically setup for speed!


42 Responses to “Final pass at Relativity script and a move to celtx script editor…”

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